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Contrary to the popular belief, cryptocurrency trading can be a rewarding experience in many ways. With thousands of currencies on offer, cryptocurrencies have become one of the most popular trading assets in the recent years, and it is not hard to guess why. Digital currencies, which were first introduced in 2009, have witnessed an explosive surge in last two years. Going by the crypto-hype which has gripped the trading community, cryptocurrencies trading is here to stay.





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The Popularity of Cryptocurrency Trading in SA

With the crypto-fever taking the trading community by storm, a number of South African investors are latching themselves to cryptocurrencies in search of trading opportunities. As a fully decentralised system, the blockchain technology offers a secure mode of transactions to the users, as the digital currency is regulated by cryptography. Unlike regular currencies, cryptocurrencies are not issued by central banks, whereby their value does not depend on the directives of the banks.

As evident from the market response, cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile assets, and many crypto sceptics have ruled it out as a bubble. Despite the turbulent market conditions, many traders, both newcomers and seasoned ones, flock into this territory, for digital currencies, if traded judiciously, can be hugely rewarding.  Werner van Rooyen of Luno, one of the largest trading platforms in South Africa, affirmed that “a massive increase in interest in cryptocurrencies.”


Bitcoin and Altcoins

The recent years have experienced an exponential growth in the circulation of digital currencies. Discernibly, there is a host of pronounced advantages of digital currencies over their fiat counterparts. Unlike fiat currencies, which are controlled by central banks, cryptocurrencies are powered by decentralised blockchain technology, wherein all transactions are fully secure.  The most striking problem with fiat currency is that it is regulated by the government, so there is the risk of frequent inflation. Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency in the market, is mined with special software, and is finite in supply.

With a market capitalisation of $115,970,724,226 (as of April 5, 2018), Bitcoin tops the cryptocurrency list.  Aside from Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum and Ripple, which boast market capitalisations of $37,518,901,806 and $19,407,653,778 respectively, are the big players in the market. However, there are a number of altcoins, over 1800 coins to be specific, which come with a unique set of advantages. Also, considering the price slump that has affected all the bigger currencies, the altcoins come across as a worthwhile alternative for trading. 


How to Buy Digital Currencies?

From its very inception, cryptocurrency has been a subject of concern for central banks, which consider it as a major threat to the existing currencies. Although the news of banks pulling a break on credit card purchases of digital currencies has been a cause of distress for many, there are plenty of options available for investors to buy these digital assets.

Buying Cryptocurrency from Online Exchanges:

To begin with, the most popular mode of buying is securing digital currencies with a debit card on any standard centralised exchange.  This is as simple as shopping goods from e-commerce sites. For instance, Coinbase is regarded as a viable option for buying cryptocurrency with fiat currency. Users who are seeking to purchase cryptocurrency from Coinbase need to register themselves on the platform first. Later, after the completion of the 2-factor authentication process, they can carry out their transaction with a debit card. While Coinbase is a popular destination for buying cryptocurrencies, there are many other exchanges available on the internet, and Robinhood and Bitfinex are only to name a few.

Not all types of cryptocurrencies can be bought with fiat currency. For instance, most altcoins are not available with fiat/crypto pairs. To purchase any altcoin that has been listed in Coinmarketcap, investors will need to use BTC and ETH, as almost every altcoin comes with a BTC/crypto pair and an ETH/crypto pair. When it comes to purchasing altcoins, most traders usually prefer Binance and OKex, two of the most renowned global exchanges.

Buying Cryptocurrency from P2P Market:

The peer-to-peer marketplace is comparatively a new addition to the digital currency market. Apparently, such platforms attempt to bring different types of people together on a single platform to cater to their complementary requirements. Peer-to-peer marketplaces link people who want to purchase products from restricted websites which don’t accept Bitcoins to buyers who are seeking to buy Bitcoin with a credit/debit card.


How to Choose the Right Cryptocurrency Trading Broker?

Cryptocurrency trading can be challenging in many ways, so it essential to make the right decisions. Needless to mention, a reliable broker plays a pivotal role in trading cryptocurrency. Apart from the security of the customer’s fund, which is a huge concern, cryptocurrency trading involves a lot of risks, and with the right broker, traders can mitigate the risks to an enormous extent.

Currencies on Offer: Not all platforms support all currencies; different brokers specialise in different crypto assets. Crypto traders need to find out about the tradable cryptocurrencies before finalising the broker.

Trading Tools and Educational Resources: The trading tools and indicators can go a long way in predicting the trading moves. So, this is an essential parameter to watch out for. Most reliable brokers support their clients with a cornucopia of trading tools, which can go a long way in improving their trades.

Promotions:Promotions: Almost all brokers offer lucrative incentives and bonus schemes to users. Also, some brokers enable commission-free trades to their customers. No matter how enticing the offers are, traders shouldn’t make their decision just on the basis of bonuses; the initial bonus means nothing if a trader is charged with hidden fees and commissions.

Customer Service: This is another feature that makes a large difference in crypto trading, and traders are advised to pay close attention to this. All trusted brokers have customer support facilities that enable clients to deal with problems. Generally, the brokers who neglect the complaints of the traders rank badly in the reviews. Traders are recommended to check the reviews to find out whether or not the broker responds to the queries of the customers.

Security and Licence:  Above else, investors should pay attention to the license and security. The chosen broker should be regulated by a legitimate regulatory body. Since cryptocurrency trading involves revealing sensitive information to the broker, security should be the number one priority.


Demo Accounts

Most cryptocurrency brokers allow their users to trade using a demo account. While some brokers allow users to access a demo account without paying extra charges, many crypto brokers allow traders to open a demo account for a nominal fee. Either way, opening a demo account has a host of advantages. From testing the effectiveness of a trading strategy to evaluating the features of the brokerage website, a demo account can be a boon to crypto traders, both neophytes and experts, preparing them for the real trading experience.



Regulations for cryptocurrency trading are stringent in South Africa. Although SARB has warned about the volatility of Bitcoin and other currency, there are no legal restraints in trading cryptocurrency. Traders who wish to trade their crypto assets need to check whether the broker in question extends its services to South Africa. Generally, brokers that are regulated by FAIS are suitable for carrying out trades.


Final Thoughts

The cryptocurrency boom in South Africa can be linked to many important events. Apart from strict regulations, cryptocurrency trading comes with a host of worthwhile advantages. With more than 1800 currencies to choose from, cryptocurrency trading offers unprecedented flexibility to its users.  As for traders, who are interested in crypto and are not afraid of taking calculated risks, cryptocurrency can be the assets for making your personal trading experience.


Risk Warning: Trading may not be suitable for everyone, so please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved. Especially trading leveraged products such as Forex and CFDs carry a high degree of risk to your capital and can result in the loss of your entire capital. Only invest with money you can afford to lose.